Investment Manager Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 18, 2012|
The investment manager of Century Maxim Fund Inc. and AJR Capital Inc. pleaded guilty today to wire fraud arising from his fraudulent investment scheme involving over $5 million of investors’ funds. Aleksander Efrosman entered his plea before the Hon. Nicholas G. Garaufis, United States District Judge, at the United States Courthouse in Brooklyn.
The guilty plea was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Mary Galligan, Acting Assistant Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office; and Ronald J. Verrochio, U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge, New York Division.
From January 2004 through June 2005, Efrosman defrauded investors by soliciting investments purportedly for the purpose of trading in the stock market and the foreign currency exchange market. Efrosman falsely told investors that he had a history of profitable trading and that the investments would be protected by a “stop-loss” mechanism that ensured that no trade lost more than three percent. Based on these misrepresentations, Efrosman received over $5 million from more than 100 investors. Efrosman did not invest the funds as promised but instead used the funds for his personal benefit, including gambling over $3 million at the Foxwoods casino.
Efrosman fled the United States in 2005 with millions of dollars of investors’ funds. He first traveled to Cozumel, Mexico, then to Panama, and ultimately to Poland, where he assumed the identity of “Mikhail Grosman” and used a high-quality fraudulent Russian passport. In the meantime, federal agents in the United States developed leads as to Efrosman’s whereabouts. In a coordinated, multi-national effort, law enforcement authorities in Austria, the Czech Republic, and Poland tracked and ultimately arrested Efrosman in Krakow, Poland, on May 28, 2010.
“Through a pattern of lies and deception, the defendant lined his own pockets at the expense of his investors and fled overseas when his scheme collapsed. But his false identity and fraudulent documents could not insulate him from the concerted efforts of the federal agents and their overseas counterparts who ultimately tracked him down. This office will continue to relentlessly pursue and prosecute the perpetrators of investment fraud schemes,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. Ms. Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Postal Inspection Service for their assistance in this case.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Spector.